By: Allyson Mitchell – Staff Writer
Studying in China is an opportunity not many people get to experience. But the University of Dayton China Institute encourages students of all majors to take the leap abroad. UDCI has been operational for almost two years and is making some major changes, according to their website.
Surrounded by 4,000 companies, UDCI is located in Suzhou Industrial Park, “a little west of Shanghai,” said Scott Segalewitz, a professor in the School of Engineering.
Segalewitz is one of the directors of UDCI and oversees the industry and technical relations of the institute by working with clients in China.
“There are two main areas to UDCI,” Segalewitz said. “One is having students study abroad in a permanent location. The other is working with businesses around UDCI.”
Both the professors and students at UDCI are a mix of those from UD and local areas in China, Segalewitz explained. Along with educating students from Dayton, UDCI also offers a number of continuing education classes for the employees of the industry partners UDCI is working with, he said.
“The courses range from two day to 10 day courses, in anything from manufacturing to electronics to management. The courses are bilingual with some translation, but most prefer to be taught in Chinese,” Segalewitz explained. “The point is to help our industry partners and that we can meet the needs the client is looking for.”
UDCI has 15 signed partners in China and engineering students here at UD are working on three projects, Segalewitz said.
“Two of these projects have clients in China and a third is sponsored by UDCI,” he said. “One of these projects is an air filtration system. The students at UD are designing and making prototypes here, and then they will go and implement their solutions in China next summer with help from the client.”
UDCI is currently looking for more industry partners in China, and is now open to students of all majors, Segalewitz said.
“Previously, only courses for business and engineering students were offered, but now there are courses about the history of China, ethics and Asian philosophy along with the principles of marketing and engineering mechanics classes,” he said.
Currently, Segalewitz said he is recruiting more students to participate in the 2014 summer session. Unlike the previous sessions, he said students participating in the summer session will spend four weeks in China and two at Chaminade University in Hawaii.
Along with taking classes, several excursions are planned around China for the students.
“Interactive classes within the city highlight differences between China and the United States,” Segalewitz said.
Students will have the opportunity to visit Suzhou, Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing, according to the 2014 UDCI program schedule.
“I liked going to Nanjing because there was so much history. It was really interesting to learn what happened there between China and Japan in World War II. It was the highlight of the trip for me,” said Vincent Hensel, a junior mechanical engineering major who participated in the 2013 summer session.
“Going to China like this is something not many people get to do,” said Gabrielle Scott, a sophomore finance major who plans to participate in the 2014 summer session. “Going to China is a great opportunity.”
UDCI is planning to offer a full semester in China starting in fall 2014 instead of only summer sessions, Segalewitz said.
“My vision for these classes is not to simply transport classes and professors from UD to China but for the students to experience content and culture together,” Segalewitz said.
For more information on participating in the UDCI 2014 summer session, visit go.udayton.edu/udci/summer.